At Ace Sports Clinic Toronto, we are passionate about improving your health and wellbeing. The following information has practical tips to centre yourself & find inner peace through the enhancement of your parasympathetic nervous system.
Our nervous system enables the body to react to continuous changes in both our internal and external environments to maintain optimal functioning. The autonomic nervous system is made up of 2 components; the Sympathetic nervous system (“Fight or Flight”) and the Parasympathetic nervous system (“Relax and Digest)”. This ‘automatic’ nervous system is responsible for many functions that we don’t have to think about to control, like our heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, digestion & sweating. These two ‘automatic’ systems work together & it’s important we have a balance between the two.
While things like tension, pain, injury &lack of sleep stimulate the Sympathetic system, enhancing our Parasympathetic system can be a powerful way to reduce tension, stress & fear, allowing our body to recharge and recalibrate. Currently, many people are experiencing too much stress through mental health issues (anxiety, depression etc) & physical health problems (inactivity, pain, injury etc) so they’re constantly in “fight or flight” mode which can contribute to some of the ailments we resolve at Ace Sports Clinic Toronto such as neck pain, knee injuries and migraines. If we can help our body enter a state of relaxation, we will enhance recovery from pain and injury.
10 tips to enhance your Parasympathetic nervous system, promote healing & restore balance:
1. Sleep – Ensure you get enough Sleep (7 hours +). Sleep is one of the most potent recovery tools and essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Sleep is the most powerful way to enhance your immunity to colds and other viruses and improve your brain functions like memory and recall. Good quality sleep helps repair cells and reduce inflammation and is important for long term cardiovascular health.
2. Meditation – Meditation brings a sense of calm and tranquility to our body. Meditation helps decrease our reactivity to stress that’s out of our control. It can also enhance our mental clarity and reduce lactic acid in our muscles, promoting healing after exercise. Start with 2-3 minutes per day and with practice you can build up to 20 mins.
3. Gentle exercises like Yoga can improve your flexibility & strength. Start your day with 10 mins of Yoga to warm up your muscles and energize your body for the day.
4. Deep Breathing exercises – Deep, slow breathes help reduce your heart rate and enhance respiration, allowing you to relax & calm down. Try to breathe in deeply and slowly, allowing your belly and ribs to expand. Breathe in to a count 1,2,3,4,5 and then out 5,4,3,2,1. As you breathe out, relax, and let the air gently fall out of your lungs.
5. Registered Massage Therapy – Get a relaxing neck & shoulder massage with one of our Ace Toronto Registered Massage Therapists to remove knots & encourage total body relaxation. Massage can help your circulation and allow you to feel stronger, calmer, and more able to fight infection.
6. Spend time in nature – this will improve your mood, enhance your sleep and improve your Vitamin D levels through exposure to sunlight. Start with 45 mins per day and include something you love like walking, hiking or skiing.
7. Osteopathy – can help reduce pain & tight muscles through the use of gentle, hands-on techniques. Our Toronto Osteopathic Practitioners can also help headaches & improve digestion while restoring your body’s ability to move effortlessly. Ace Sports Clinic Osteopaths recognize the interconnectivity of your body & mind & can accurately assess and balance your nervous system.
8. Gratitude – Be Grateful & give thanks daily in a Journal. Gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness and psychological well being. Being grateful helps reduce pain and speeds up recovery after injury. Practicing gratitude also assists your relationships & sleep.
9. Cold Showers – can stimulate the main parasympathetic nerve – the Vagus nerve. Exposure to cold, can also boost your immunity, reduce inflammation, improve your alertness & metabolism. Start with 30 seconds cold water in the shower a day and build up from there.
10. Visualization – Set your intentions and visualize yourself having incredible health. Having a positive mindset, being focused and having a clear plan will create greater confidence & help achieve your health, performance & life goals.
At Ace Sports Clinic Toronto we can help you create good habits that positively impact your health & wellness. Promoting optimal recovery and healing through balancing out your autonomic nervous system using the above-mentioned strategies will enhance your vitality and physical and mental fitness.
What strategy can you implement today to improve your health?
Contact Ace Sports Clinic Toronto today and we will help restore your body to better health so you can enjoy the freedom of optimal movement. Remember, small actions done consistently over time lead to massive results. Start today, your body will thank you.
Improve your Quality of Life with Ace Sports Clinic
By Dr Luke Fuller – Physiotherapist & Osteopath